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What Becomes

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eBook published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Twice selected for Granta’s list of Best Young British Novelists, winner of the 2007 Costa Book Award for her acclaimed novel Day (“Day is a novel of extraordinary complexity”—The New York Review of Books), which was also chosen as one of New York magazine’s top ten books of the year—the internationally revered A. L. Kennedy returns with a story collection whose glorious wit and vitality make this a not-to-be-missed addition to the canon of one of our most formidable young writers.

No one captures the spirit of our times like A. L. Kennedy, with her dark humor, poignant hopefulness, and brilliant evocation of contemporary social and spiritual malaise. In the title story, a man abandons his indifferent wife and wanders into a small-town movie theater where he finds himself just as invisible as he was at home. In the masterfully comic “Saturday Teatime,” a woman trying to relax in a flotation tank is hijacked by memories of her past. In “Whole Family with Young Children Devastated,” a woman, inadvertently drawn into a stranger’s marital dysfunction, meditates on the failings of modern life as seen through late-night television and early-morning walks.

Powerful and funny, intimate and profound, the stories in What Becomes are further proof that Kennedy is one of the most dazzling and inventive writers of her generation.
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Twice selected for Granta’s list of Best Young British Novelists, winner of the 2007 Costa Book Award for her acclaimed novel Day (“Day is a novel of extraordinary complexity”—The New York Review of Books), which was also chosen as one of New York magazine’s top ten books of the year—the internationally revered A. L. Kennedy returns with a story collection whose glorious wit and vitality make this a not-to-be-missed addition to the canon of one of our most formidable young writers.

No one captures the spirit of our times like A. L. Kennedy, with her dark humor, poignant hopefulness, and brilliant evocation of contemporary social and spiritual malaise. In the title story, a man abandons his indifferent wife and wanders into a small-town movie theater where he finds himself just as invisible as he was at home. In the masterfully comic “Saturday Teatime,” a woman trying to relax in a flotation tank is hijacked by memories of her past. In “Whole Family with Young Children Devastated,” a woman, inadvertently drawn into a stranger’s marital dysfunction, meditates on the failings of modern life as seen through late-night television and early-morning walks.

Powerful and funny, intimate and profound, the stories in What Becomes are further proof that Kennedy is one of the most dazzling and inventive writers of her generation.
Product Details
eBook (224 pages)
Published: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307593139
Other books byA. L. Kennedy
  • All the Rage

    All the Rage
    Stories
    A. L. Kennedy’s latest collection of stories is an investigation of “certain types of threat and the odder edges of sweet things”—another intense and luscious feast of language from the author of The Blue Book and Paradise. “I want to describe my genuine circumstances on the occasion in question, but I can’t,” confesses the narrator of “Baby Blue,” who finds herself “somewhere like a very big grocers . . . a supermarket full of sex.” Kennedy hilariously explores the comic possibilities of fake genitalia before landing on a heartbreaking note. In “Takes You Home,” a man tries to sell his apartment, the emptiness of the rooms. It’s a journey to the interior that is both harrowing and humorous, as he considers the benefit of showing off the old kitchen rather than renovating—it “only quietly asks to be replaced and will shrug when it’s knocked to pieces and hauled away and not take it personally one bit.” Swarming with memory and moments of grace, All the Rage is Kennedy at her inimitable best.

    Everything You Need

    Everything You Need
    A Novel
    From the prodigiously talented A. L. Kennedy comes a flamboyantly stylish and fiercely emotional novel about fathers and daughters, creation and self-destruction, and love’s paradoxical power to heal its most devastated victims. One such victim is Nathan Staples, a writer whose hilarious contempt for humanity is surpassed only by his corrosive self-loathing. Along with five equally dysfunctional colleagues Nathan lives on an island retreat off the coast of Wales, where he yearns for the daughter he lost years before. Now, in defiance of all his hopes, Mary Lamb–herself an aspiring writer–is about to join him as the seventh member of the colony. As Nathan tortuously wins the trust of the child who has no inkling of their true relationship, Mary comes to a gradual understanding of her gift. In Everything You Need, A. L. Kennedy combines the mythic resonance of Arthurian legend with a sensibility as lyrical as it is profane. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Day

    Day
    Alfie Day, RAF airman and former World War II POW, never expected to survive the war. Now, five years later and more alone than ever, Alfie finds himself drawn to unearth those strange, passionate days by working as an extra on a POW film. What he will discover on the set about himself, his loves and the world around him will make the war itself look simple. Funny and moving, wise and sad, Day is a truly original look at the intensity and courage to be found in the closeness of death, from one of Britain's most iconoclastic and highly acclaimed young writers.

    Paradise

    Paradise
    Hannah Luckraft sells cardboard boxes for a living. Her family is so frustrated by her behavior they can barely stand to keep in touch with her. Each day is fueled by the promise of annihilation, the promise of a reprieve, the paradise that can only be found in a bottle. When Hannah meets Robert, a kindred spirit, the two become constant companions. Together and alone Hannah and Robert spiral through the beauty and depravity of a love affair with alcohol. Paradise is a spectacular novel of desire and oblivion.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Das Kino war winzig: zwölf Reihen tief von der schwarz behängten Wand und der verdunkelten Tür bis zur leeren Leinwand, die inzwischen anfing, ihn zu beunruhigen, eine Art hängende...

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